Mets 3 (54-53), Braves 2 (60-46)
WP: Acosta (2-1)
LP: Wagner (5-2)
SV: Rodriguez (23)
Derek Lowe pitched so well tonight. So...well. He was in line for the win when he left the game. And then the normally strong Braves bullpen went and screwed it up yet again. Lowe's ling: 6 innings, 6 hits, 1 earned, no walks, 3 strikeouts. 12 ground balls! It was one of Lowe's best starts of the season...and it was all for naught. Kyle Farnsworth made his redebut in the 7th, and much like in his last outing as a Brave 5 years ago, he...blew the game! His control was all over the place, first walking Jeff Francoeur on 4 pitches to leadoff the inning which is one of the most egregious things you can do in life. A sac bunt moved him to second, and a RBI single scored him to tie the game. Lovely. Farnsworth's control was a mess all game, but I don't think his first appearance as a Brave should have been in a one run game where the offense was struggling to get a key hit for most of the evening, but I digress. Jonny Venters pitched the 8th and uncharacteristically struggled, allowing 2 baserunners before getting out of the inning without allowing a run. And then Billy Wagner, working off 3 straight scoreless appearances, came in for the 9th...and allowed a solo homer to Francoeur. Are you kidding me? Vomit vomit vomit.
Now, lets get to the Braves offense. 6 hits, 7 walks. 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position. First run came in the second inning, when Melky Cabrera brought home Alex Gonzalez on a surefire double play ball where the Mets could only get Rick Ankiel out at second. And the other Braves run of the night came in the 6th, when Cabrera tripled in Ankiel, thanks to a fantastic play (cough) by Francouer, completely whiffing on the Cabrera hit as it rolled to the wall. Blown opportunities though, were the major theme of the evening. 2 on 1 out in the second, only 1 run scored, and that was on a play that made an out. 5th inning, the Braves had the bases loaded with 2 outs...and Eric Hinske strikes out to end the inning. 6th inning, with Cabrera on 3rd with 1 out. Matt Diaz is INEXPLICABLY called in to pinch hit against the right handed Dickey...he pops up, and Infante grounds out to end the inning. What a blown chance THAT was. 7th inning. 2 on, 1 out for Hinske's spot...Bobby uses the colder than dinosaur bones Troy Glaus to pinch hit, and he (obviously) grounds into a double play to end the inning. Did I mention that Glaus only bothered to take one pitch before chopping the ball to second? 8th inning. Gonzalez walks to lead off the inning, and after Ankiel strikes out, is thrown out trying to steal on a 2-0 count to Cabrera. Someone missed a sign there. Jason Heyward, Brian McCann, Gonzalez, and Cabrera all reached base twice, while Chipper Jones walked 3 times. In a teeny sample size, Rick Ankiel has a .697 OPS as a Brave...yet people are still going crazy about him. Is this what its come to?
Horrible effort in key situations there. It seems to be a common trend with this team...we all know that situational hitting is something that cannot be taught and is a factor of luck, but this is just getting ridiculous. I'm getting flashbacks to June in the past couple of years, where everything would go wrong for the team and the season would get deep sixed. The lead over Philly is down to 2 games. Tomorrow is a prime example of a must-win situation. This team has been playing so horribly lately, and a series win would do wonders to get them back on the right track. The struggling Mike Pelfrey will start for New York, while the Braves counter with Kris Medlen. THIS GAME MUST BE WON. The Giants are coming to town for 4 huge games after the Mets leave town, and they're not going to go down easy. The Braves cannot afford to lose any more ground playing a team like the Mets.